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Is it too late? - Disabled access to Vatican

Hull
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Is it too late? - Disabled access to Vatican

Hi,

We have my Fiancés Mum staying with us and she is registered Disabled in the UK, with great difficulty walking and getting up stairs. Unfortunately for some reason in our research, somehow we missed that she could get help and even free entry, into various attractions in Rome.

Today for example she stayed in all afternoon because she was so exhausted after trying to walk about locally and it was only then that we started looking online for transport options. She has hired a wheelchair for her stay, but it is next to useless on the cobbles and no ramp curbs.

So along with our lack of awareness, his mother and sister have ordered and paid for, online tickets to the Vatican Museum tomorrow afternoon. I saw that you can change the names and times of these tickets online so that we can possibly transfer them to some other guests later on, if we can gain free access for her and a helper?

So what I need to know is, is it too late to change say, one ticket that is paid for, e.g. to myself, and then walk straight in with my fiancés mum to the disabled desk in the Vatican museums and get her a free ticket (+ I read any assistant can also gain free entry). Or maybe we could postpone both tickets for when someone else comes to stay with us, if both she and her daughter, helper can get two free tickets?

Can anyone advise?

Oh, and also, she didn't know about any of this until today, so left her disabled blue badge in the UK but we have done a screenshot of it tonight over the internet and could get this printed out at an internet kiosk tomorrow if needs be? Otherwise she only has a letter from her doctor saying that she is ok to fly. Aside from the fact that she visibly struggles walking, what would she need as proof to gain free entry?

Thanks for any help at this short notice.

pittsburgh
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1. Re: Is it too late? - Disabled access to Vatican

Unless you have documentation of her disability you probably won't get any type of discount:

can disabled visitors book free tickets online?

A. No, it is not possible. Free tickets for disabled visitors and for accompanying persons are issued, on presentation of documents testifying disability, at the Special Permits' Desk, or Reception, situated in the entrance hall to the Vatican Museums.

and also,

Free admission is granted to disabled visitors on presentation of documents testifying disability (over 74%) and accompanying persons. (Free tickets for disabled visitors and for accompanying persons may not be booked online. The free tickets are issued at the "Special Permits'" desk or "Reception", situated in the entrance hall to the Vatican Museums).

Without a letter from a doctor testifying to a 75% disability you will have to pay the regular admission price. You can try to see if they will waive the fee but don't count on it.

As for switching ticket names and dates-

Q. Is it possible to change the names of the participants?

A. Yes, it is possible to make the change by clicking onto "Change of Reservation - Participants", in the menu on the left, by inserting in the appropriate fields.

Q. Is it possible to change the date and time of the reservation?

A. Yes, it is possible to make the change by clicking onto "Change of Reservation - Date and Time", in the menu on the left, by inserting in the appropriate fields.

Donna

Edited: 24 July 2013, 02:44
Hull
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2. Re: Is it too late? - Disabled access to Vatican

Thanks for commenting Donna.

I didn't see anywhere about this over 74% disabled factor on the Vatican website, when I looked 'in detail' before I wrote my post. In any case, how does one quantify what 74% is exactly? Is it that you have no use of two arms and a leg for example!?

My 'mother not in law' can't get any proof from a doctor now, only the a copy of her blue badge from the UK that gives free parking and other access benefits and is highly recognised in the UK. She can't get the original though and she can't get a doctors letter. The booking is for today after all.

On www.mybesttour.com/vatican.htm#handicapped for their tours of the vatican states only that the disability should be obvious and if not then further proof will be required. My 'mother out of law' is out of breath walking across our flat and certainly after any steps, due to crumbling vertebra and recent cancer recovery and seems in much pain, which is not good, especially as it kept her in the flat all yesterday missing out on Rome.

I know you can't get a disabled ticket online prior to turning up also, however, it is immensely risky doing so and changing one ticket to someone not disabled, in the vain hope she will get in ok today.

Does anyone who is in a wheelchair or disabled rather more obviously, have any experience of gaining free entry in this I am aware short space of time we have to do something about our paid for tickets?

I would be much obliged for any help?

3. Re: Is it too late? - Disabled access to Vatican

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pittsburgh
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4. Re: Is it too late? - Disabled access to Vatican

Those requirements are directly from the Vatican website. A doctors note stating the amount of disability is required. A doctor knows the percentage of disability and can note that for you. Since you don't have that I'm not sure that you'll get the free tickets. I'm sure they ask for this note because some people try to scam their way inside by faking disabilities (not saying that you are doing that only trying to explain why the need for the note).

That website doesn't have information directly from the Vatican website or it would state that you need a doctors note with a percentage of the disability. They are trying to sell you a tour or overpriced tickets.

I hope things work out for you but if not, 16 euros is not too much to pay to see amazing works or art. After all, your MIL already booked tickets for herself so I assume she doesn't mind paying if she needs to.

Donna

Edited: 24 July 2013, 12:54
Le Marche, Italy
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5. Re: Is it too late? - Disabled access to Vatican

Let us know how it works out with the Vatican Museums; I wonder if they would reimburse the ticket price. Also, make sure she has her wheelchair for the visit, as obviously she won't be able to see the museums on her own two feet. You can get a map for the alternative route for people in wheelchairs, which allows you to use the elevators instead of the stairs.

Another thing that might help your mother-in-law see a bit of Rome is a golf cart tour:

http://www.drivinguide.com/disabled.htm

I've never used them, but they seem to be serious about their service to disabled people. If you use them, let us know how they were.

Charlotte, North...
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6. Re: Is it too late? - Disabled access to Vatican

I was just reading your post and wondered how things went. I also don't always look sick, but I am considered disabled; chemo every other week for terminal cancer. On non chemo week I actually look healthy, but I get tired easy. I guess my concern is, spending that much money on a Roam pass say, and not be able to use it all.

pittsburgh
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7. Re: Is it too late? - Disabled access to Vatican

The Vatican does not honor a romapass.

Unless you visit at least 3 sites and use public transportation a few times the romapass won't save you any money. Because of your health issues with tiring out I would suggest pre--booking the colosseum and Vatican museums if you wish to see them and then playing everything else by ear. These are the only two sites with long lines and the pre-purchased tickets will allow you to bypass the lines.

Donna

Pembroke Pines...
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8. Re: Is it too late? - Disabled access to Vatican

When I have travelled in Italy and Spain with my disabled son (autistic) we have not been charged for his admission neither his companion's. We were never asked for any letter nor documentation to proof his disability. It is obious though that he is disabled. We were not aware of this and we were always offered the free admission without having to ask for it.

pittsburgh
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9. Re: Is it too late? - Disabled access to Vatican

IF it's an obvious disability they usually won't ask. If it's less obvious, say a heart condition or such, they will ask for a Doctors note signifying the amount of disability.

Donna

Le Marche, Italy
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10. Re: Is it too late? - Disabled access to Vatican

If you tire easily, you really shouldn't go to the Vatican Museums at all, unless you have a wheelchair and someone to push it. That's a place that does me in every time, although I'm fairly fit and walk long distances frequently.